Chicken Nuggets as Nature Intended

I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda’ weirded out by store-bought chicken nuggets.  Did you ever notice that the “regular” ones are shaped like Mr. Potato Head?  And the dinosaur ones?  Pray tell, what part of the chicken exactly is shaped like a dinosaur?  When I see these in the supermarket, I have images in my head of hens with poor self-esteem going to the poultry plastic surgeon for lifts and tucks and lipo.  I know these feathered friends are not the smartest of animals, but I highly doubt they’re happy with breasts and thighs shaped like a stegosaurus.

At any rate, here’s my go-to recipe for homemade nuggets.  You can actually make these up to 24 hours ahead of time and refrigerate.  Just add five minutes or so to the bake time.

Ingredients:

2 cups Cheerios cereal (my girls like it when I use the Honey Nut variety.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into one inch pieces.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Either spray with cooking spray or lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan.

2. Finely crush cereal (let the kids help with this part!).  Stir together the cereal, salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Then in a medium bowl, stir together the milk, honey and mustard until well blended.  Dip the chicken into the milk mixture, then coat with the cereal mixture.  Place the chicken onto the pan.  Drizzle with melted butter.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden and chicken is no longer pink in center.

Serve with the kids’ favorite dipping sauces and some fruit and veggies!

Dinner in No Time Flat!

I know, I know.  In your head I’m an uber glam mom making a four course dinner for my loved ones in a pair of Louboutins.  Ummm….reality check.  I’m really a mom who works full time, comes in the back door at 6:00, and then trips over myriad backpacks, tennis shoes and fairy wands while making her way to the cabinet for a box of instant Mac ‘n Cheese.  And confession – the dress code at work is casual, so on a good day I’m in ballet flats, on a bad day I’m in flip-flops.  (I just happen to really like the pretty pictures of the Louboutins!)

For those of us who are in need of a quick dinner for the kiddos that’s a little more than Mac ‘n Cheese but a little less than filet mignon, try this on for size: dice up some cooked chicken breasts (easy to prepare ahead of time, freeze and thaw), and mix the chicken with milk, butter and chive flavored cream cheese to taste.  Spoon the mixture into the middle of Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough, and then wrap the dough around the mixture to make individual “bundles.”  Bake according to the directions on the Crescent Roll package and voila!  Dinner in no time flat!  (Get it?  Flats?)

Enjoy, fellow moms!  And remember: regardless of our actual footwear, we’re all well heeled in our hearts.